Basbousa recipe, a fusion recipe, in which semolina-coconut cake is bursting with the flavour of pineapple. This is a vegan recipe without using any dairy milk or yogurt.

Unlike regular Basbousa, pineapple is added to this cake taking it to an altogether different and refreshing level.

This cake is somewhat similar to my Mango Semolina Cake as well as to Lamingtons.

 Basbousa recipe

Basbousa cake recipe

Basbousa or Baboosa is a famous Middle Eastern cake that is made primarily with fine semolina and coconut. Though Basbousa is a cake but this one is more like a sweet, like pineapple-coconut Barfi.

Some recipes give you immense happiness and this one is just that! I made changes to the regular Basbousa recipe and tried a fusion by adding pineapple to it.  I did so, as pineapple pairs very well with coconut so, I have added lots of fresh pineapple puree to this cake, which has taken it to another level. The taste of pineapple is so refreshing! And the combo of pineapple and coconut turns this  Middle Eastern dessert into a Tropical one.

Remember, that Hawaiian Salad? Even this Tropical salad had the dressing of pina colada which is very different and unique.

Middle Eastern Cuisine has always been a favourite of all of us. We all love Pita Bread, Hummus and Falafel and often finds a place in our menus.

Must Read: And one Middle Eastern dessert, Milk Pudding, commonly known as Mehalabya is worth trying, because of its taste, looks and being a quick recipe.


Basbousa at my Place

I was looking for an interesting dessert using coconut sugar and during my search, I came across this semolina-coconut cake, popularly known as Basbousa.

And with coconut, coconut’s best friend, pineapple, came to my mind and just thought of trying out this cake by adding pineapple to it. The very thought of adding pineapple to it assured me that it’s going to be a hit. And trust me, it was! My fusion Basbousa was bursting with the flavour of pineapple.

The day I conducted this experiment, the same day my brother-in-law had come to my place along with his family. Obviously, this Pina Colada Basbousa was served in dessert and was loved by all. I served it with Pineapple sauce and vanilla ice cream and that combo was like the cherry on the cake.


What is Basbousa?

Before we see what is Basbousa, let us see how to pronounce it. So, it is pronounced as,  Bass-b-ouza.

Basbousa is a Turkish dessert that is basically a semolina cake topped with sugar syrup. It is known by various names like Baboosa, Basboosa, Revani, Rabani, Harissa, Chapka, Shamali and many others. It is a popular dessert among Muslims and Jews and is a must for Iftaar during Ramadan.

Though semolina or harissa is the key ingredient of this cake, it may contain coconut or almond powder or any other flavouring depending on the country it is being made. Like, in Egypt, they love to add almond powder to it, whereas in Lebanon, pistachio powder and coconut are added.

The speciality of Basbousa cake is that as soon as it is out of the oven, it is soaked with sugar syrup. Now, this sugar syrup can be light, medium or very thick. As the sugar quantity increases, the syrup turns from light to thick. (Source)


What’s Special About Basbousa?


Use of Healthy Sugars in My Baking

I have been using alternate healthy sugars in my bakes like honey, Boora (Powdered cane sugar) (Chocolate Mud Cake),  Rock sugar(Makhana Kheer), jaggery (Ragi Banana Cake), brown sugar (Black Forest Cake) etc in my cooking/baking but this is the first time I used coconut sugar. For long I wanted to try it but somehow never used it. A healthy baking contest by Farm made foods gave me a chance to do that and I am very happy with the results so thus thought of sharing about it a little with all of you too.

Coconut sugar, as the name says, is made with coconut. It looks very much like brown sugar or say powdered jaggery but is actually neither of the two. It is dehydrated coconut sap. Yes, When the sap of the coconut palm is boiled and dehydrated then we get coconut sugar.

The benefits of coconut sugar are:


How To Make 


Serving Suggestions

It tastes good as it is but if you are serving it on a special occasion or just want to augment its presentation then feel free to use any of the following ideas:


Step By Step Recipe

A. For Basbousa

Making basbousa

Mix all the dry ingredients

add pineapple puree

make thick batter using coconut milk

let the batter rest for 15 minutes

make cuts after pouring the batter in the baking pan

semolina cake

semolina coconut cake

drizzle sugar syrup

 Basbousa recipe


B. Pineapple Puree

making pineapple puree

making pineapple puree

making pineapple puree


C. Pineapple Sauce

making pineapple sauce

Pineapple sauce recipe



Q) Can I Make Basbousa Ahead of Time?

Yes, of course! As Basbousa is nothing but semolina cake, then you can make it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week. As it may dry up a little,  then before serving, lightly heat it and then drizzle sugar syrup to make it moist again.

Q) Can I skip pineapple puree?

Yes. In that case, increase the quantity of coconut milk slightly to get a thick batter.

Q) I do not have fine semolina. Can I use a coarse one?

No, you need fine semolina only. Simply pulse your coarse semolina in the grinder and you will have fine semolina.

Q) I do not have coconut sugar, then?

Use jaggery powder or any other sweetener of your choice.

Q) Should I let the cake cool before pouring sugar syrup?

No, as you take out the cake from the oven, immediately pour the sugar syrup and keep it covered at least for an hour, more the better!

Q) When do I invert this cake on a plate?

Unlike regular cakes, this cake is not inverted. In fact, it is simply cut into pieces in the baking pan only.

Q) Is baking soda not required in this recipe?

No. We use only baking powder in this recipe.

Q) Why the method of making sugar syrup is not mentioned in the recipe?

Q) Any substitute for coconut oil?

Use an equal quantity of Ghee (clarified butter).

Q) Can I use canned pineapple in place of a fresh one?

Yes, you can!


Let’s Connect

I hope you have liked this Basboosa recipe and will surely try it out for your loved ones. I will be happy if you share your creations on Instagram and tag me #samirasrecipediary there.

Thank you for reading this post. If you have liked this recipe then do let me know by leaving a comment below. Your feedback fuels my enthusiasm. You may share this post with your dear ones by clicking on the little buttons below. You may follow me on  Facebook   Pinterest too. for latest recipe updates. Thank you!


Basbousa Recipe

A semolina cake flavoured with pineapple and coconut.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8


For The Basbousa

  • 1 Cup Fine Semolina Chiroti Rawa
  • 1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Cup Pineapple Puree
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk

For Pineapple Puree

  • 7 to 8 Fresh Pineapple Rings
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water

For Pineapple Sauce

  • 1 Cup Pineapple Puree
  • 1 Tbsp Rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar

For Garnishing

  • 1/4 Cup Sugar Syrup (Water left after boiling pineapple)
  • Pineapple Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Nuts Almond, Pistachio


For Basbousa

  • Prepare Pineapple puree and keep it aside.
  • Grease a square baking tin of 6'' and keep it aside. You can use a round tin too.
  • In a bowl, take fine semolina, baking powder, salt and coconut oil. Mix well so that each and every grain of semolina is rubbed with oil.
  • Add coconut sugar and desiccated coconut.
  • Mix in pineapple puree.
  • Add coconut milk. You can add regular milk too. The batter will still be quite thick but that's the way it is supposed to be.
  • Mix everything and let the batter sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, start preheating the oven. Preheat it at 180 degrees.
  • Put the batter in the greased baking tin.
  • Dip a knife in water and make cut marks in it, either in square shape or diamond shape or any other that you may prefer.
  • Dip the knife in water after each cut so that the batter doesn't stick to the knife.
  • Bake for 30 minutes till the cake leaves sides and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • In the last, to have the golden colour crust, use the broil function for just 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful and keep an eye constantly as the cake might get burnt quickly.
  • Take the cake pan out and drizzle the sugar syrup. As we prefer very less sweet, so I used the water in which I boiled pineapple. It was very thin, sweet yet aromatic with pineapple flavour.
  • Cover it and let it cool down.
  • Once cool, cut through the premarked cuts.
  • Drizzle pineapple sauce and sprinkle nuts.
  • Serve as it is or with vanilla ice cream.

Pineapple Puree

  • Peel pineapple and cut rings. No need to discard its central core which is hard and is otherwise removed.
  • In a pressure cooker, put pineapple rings, water and coconut sugar.
  • Pressure cook for one whistle.
  • Put the softened pineapple pieces in the blender and form puree.
  • Reserve the water as it will be used for soaking Basbousa.

Pineapple Sauce

  • In a wok, take pineapple puree.
  • Dissolve rice flour in one tablespoon water and add it to the pineapple puree. I used the same water that was left after boiling pineapple.
  • Adjust sweetness by adding 1 tablespoon coconut sugar.
  • Boil the mix for a minute and pineapple sauce is ready.


  1. You need fine semolina for this recipe. In case you have regular semolina then pulse it in the mixie and you will have a fine one.
  2. Ideally, Basbousa is not a very tall cake. So, bake it in 6'' or 7'' cake pan.
  3. No essence is used in this recipe. However, you may add a little pineapple essence in case your pineapple is not very aromatic.
  4. You can replace coconut milk with any other milk, be it dairy or non-dairy.
  5. The consistency of this cake batter is quite thick.
  6. You can replace coconut oil with any other oil of your choice. Even butter or ghee (clarified butter) can be used.
  7. If using coconut oil or butter or ghee then it is advised to warm the Basbousa before serving. This is because once kept in the refrigerator, these fats solidify and make the cake hard. Slight warming put makes them soft again. Heating it in the microwave oven for 30 seconds is sufficient.
  8. Basbousa is ideally golden brown from the top. So, once the cake is baked, switch on the top rod of your oven, that is, the broil function and keep it on the top rack for just 2 or 3 minutes. Though, if not comfortable doing this, you can avoid this step.
  9. The water in which pineapple is boiled is used for soaking the cake and for making pineapple sauce.
  10. You can make sugar syrup separately too by taking equal quantities of sugar and water. Boil it for 10 to 15 minutes. Flavor it with pineapple essence or cinnamon.
Keyword , Semolina Cake Recipe, Basbousa Dessert

3 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating